Netscape and five regional US telcos have struck a deal which sets up a new distribution channel for Internet service providers (ISPs).
The Net software company has signed a marketing agreement with five Baby Bell Internet companies to make Netscape Navigator the default browser for their services. The deal also allows users to select these telephone companies' Internet services through the new Netscape ISP Select.
Mark Fisher, general manager and marketing vice president at Pacific Bell Internet Services, said: 'As major regional ISPs, our companies represent one of the newest and fastest growing distribution channels for online access to the Net.'
Citing Netscape's market share, and the fact that its Web site receives 120 million hits daily, Fisher said: 'We're partnering with the company that makes one of the top-selling software products on the market today.'
Netscape's shares surged five per cent at market close on Tuesday 10 December following news of the agreement.
Industry evidence continues to point to Navigator's supremacy over Microsoft Internet Explorer. Research by Communications Industry Researchers reveals Netscape has 80 per cent of the browser market compared with Microsoft's seven per cent. It says the company 'has a huge lead in the area, which will be difficult for Microsoft to take away'.
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